Dr. Woodhall Alumni Update (June 09)

Friday, June 12 2009

Dear Former Students, Runners and Other EIU Friends:

Hope you enjoy some of these picture/stories.

Tom Woodall

 Hussey, Hussey, Hussey and Huffman

Three Hussey’s and  Huffman make up this Illinois High School Association Badminton Tournament Officials Group.
(l to r)  Kevin Hussey is the Meet Director...just got back from coaching in China the night before.  Though the tournament was first held in 1977, Kevin was the driving force that brought the tournament to EIU four years ago.   Ben Hussey, his son, will be Senior at EIU and is currently ranked 7th in the country by the U.S. National Badminton Association.

Dr. Stan Huffman, joined the EIU morning badminton players several years ago and even after knee replacement surgery, is on the courts at least twice each week, holding his own against a much younger group.  He has helped with this Girls Tournament each year and is well known to former graduate students who assisted him with Graded Exercise Tests at EIU and at SBLHC.  Dr. Huffman helped get the METS (Cardiac Rehabilitation at SBLHC) Program off the ground nearly 27 years ago and the Exercise Science Lecture Room in Lantz bears his name.  

Bob Hussey (front), former EIU teacher (of most every subject) IS Mr. Badminton in the Charleston community.  Now, well into his 8th decade of life, he still encourages students and folks of all ages to be physically active.  He is...and has been...the Honorary Meet Director.

Sixty – four (64) singles and sixty four (64) doubles teams were entered....female athletes came from all over the state.  

Copying off of the Olympic and other well know championship competitions, the athletes prepare to march in to the venue prior to the first matches.  Here, nearly 250 people, wait on the Indoor Track to enter the Student Recreation Center.  Quite a spectacle.

Ken Klipp (71) former EIU runner and Illinois Hall of Fame Coach (Bishop McNamara HS...Kankakee, IL) for more than 35 years, has his own routine when bringing his athletes to the State Track Meet hosted at EIU.   First he runs two miles on the Cross Country Course, then two miles on the Outdoor...O’Brien Field Track.  He finishes with one mile on the Indoor Track.  These five miles tend to refresh his memory, for he ran on all three venues while a student here.  Dave Nance (75) will be retiring next year, and is thrilled with his career of coaching/teaching at Pana H.S.  But he still fondly looks back at his EIU days...  My mind will always be fixed on the 1970’s when you all “adopted” me onto the team.  Ken and Keith Jacobi talked me into coming out to run track and cc and I sure am glad I did.   In my room at PHS hangs a small shrine, a tribute to Walter Crawford and persons of great character  My kids come in and look at the pictures and inquire about who and why and I tell them a short story about Walt,  and EIU.  I guess more than anything I am thankful to the Lord for putting me in places of nurturing.  

Tammy Stice Nichols (94) is moving with her husband and family to Orlando, Florida where Steve is taking a new position in financial consulting for the Honda Corporation.  Though still teaching at the university level, Dr. Ben Timson’s (74) girl’s high school soccer team has made it to the State Final Four in Missouri.  No news on additional tourney outcomes.   A note from Dr. Phoebe Church (former Dept. Chair) reveals that husband Mike has accepted a full time position with the Health and Human Performance Department at SEMO for next year. He will teach several sections of "Sport and Society" plus a Sport Psychology  course and a coaching seminar!   Phoebe will again work part time for Student Teaching..she loves it...especially the “part time” thing.

After recent surgery and while still taking Chemo and Radiation Treatments for Breast Cancer, Laura Lutes Pruitt (85) biked 25 miles on Mother’s Day.   She is focused and also seeks support as she strives to raise funds for the American Cancer Society Relay For Life Event.  She says  “Please support me in this important cause by making a secure, tax-deductible donation online using the link below”.   To dosteepleweb online now, click here to visit my personal page.

Tim Woodall (turned 44 years of age on June 8th)  He was a pretty good runner in high school and here he is shown (wearing a dark blue EIU uniform..curly hair) “tethered” to Brian Beasley (a blind HS friend).  In 1980, the two of them competed in races for the blind (the sighted runner leading) around the track. Many of you remember Mark Kasper (85 - now Dr. Kasper) who ran on the EIU Track and CC Teams and later became a very much liked and respected EIU faculty member – Exercise Science.   He has been teaching at Valdosta State University (Georgia) since 1994.  His partner in this exhibition 800 meter run was Robin Romans (Springfield, IL) The two high school boys easily defeated the older runners....and Mark (who wore a blind fold to equate the circumstances commented about the “trust lesson” he learned through the experience.    Later, after traveling around the mid-west, Tim and Brian actually set a national one mile run record for blind high school runners.  Tim now lives in Effingham and is a Information Systems Manager and great barbershop singer.   Brian still lives in Charleston, has children and works for Adams Memorials.   Anyone know whatever happened to Robin?

Here are four EIU grads that you need to know.  They all were in Charleston on Saturday, June 6th, so Dr. Huffman and I encouraged them to come to the tennis courts (note EIU O’Brien Stadium in the background).  Because they both live in the area, it was easy for (l to r) Sharon Jackson (‘84) and Dr. Jill Owen (‘87) to make it for some activity.   Sharon (Head of SBLHC METS Program) and Jill (now EIU Department Chair for Kinesiology and Sport Studies) have been tennis doubles partners in years gone by, but with Jill’s new administration position, she hasn’t played in several years.   Sharon, has continued to play in and around Illinois and is a much “sought after” Senior (Over Age 50)  Doubles Partner.  

Traci Reindle (a CUBS fan...at least while staying with the Woodalls) graduated from EIU in 1994 as did Joe Vida.
Traci is a Physical Therapist (living in La Luz, NM and practicing at a 100 bed hospital in Alamogordo, NM)  If all goes as planned, she will receive her DPT (Doctorate in Physical Therapy) degree next January.   Joe, directs the Corporate Fitness Program for the Executives of the USA Today Newspaper, housed in Reston, Virginia.  Neither he or Traci have played much tennis recently, but that doesn’t mean they’ve been inactive.  Traci recently completed the Bataan Death March (a 26 mile, high altitude and sandy surface event held near the White Sands area in NM) where several thousand competitors honored our brave military personnel from WWII who tried to defend the Philippians and eventually were forced on a 70 mile march in which one third of them died.   Joe has completed 25 marathons (including 11 consecutive Boston races) and will compete in his 6th “Full Ironman” Triathlon on July 26th in White Plains, NY.

Actually, the significant doubles match was between Jackson/Owen vs Huffman/Woodall.   Please don’t ask about the score.

Perry Edinger (84) will be tackling the most difficult of the endurance challenges he has ever attempted.   He has competed in many marathons and last summer, within a 3 month time period, he won the Grand Slam of Ultra - Marathon Championships with the fastest total time for FOUR x   100 Mile Races (each one held on high altitude mountain routes in four different sites around the U.S.A.  

In July, he has been invited (only 80 competitors from around the world are admitted) to attempt the 135 mile Death Valley (Badwater 135) event.  The race starts in Badwater, Ca, lowest point in the continental US, in Death Valley.... 135 miles later, it ends at the portal to Mt. Whitney, 8,500 ft.   The first 42 miles are all below sea level and run during the daylight hours in Death Valley.  Then there is a 5,000 ft climb (17 miles), a 3,200 ft decent (10 miles), 3,200 ft climb (18 miles), 1,500 ft decent and flat portion (35 miles).... then finish with a 5,000 ft climb (13 miles).   Perry writes.... “I did get into the "fast" section.  The 10:00am start....all defending champions, fast people and me”.

He has been training with 125 to 200 miles per week and trying to get acclimated to what will be terribly hot temperatures.  He says this will be his last long competitive run....it is hard to know how his body has tolerated the years of long hard training.

This time, he is seeking to have something good come from his effort by helping raise funds that go to the Challenged Athletes Foundation (a 501 ( c )3 non-profit organization that provides funding and inspiration to hundreds of physically challenged athletes each year so they can participate, compete and live life to the fullest.  Encourages and financially supports those who have physical limitations, but desire to attack and achieve new physical goals in their lives.   High-tech running prosthetics are very expensive. Learning to swim when you lack a limb (or limbs) requires special coaching.  And hand-cycles can cost upwards of $2,500.  “But with our help, challenged athletes can bridge the financial gap and overcome funding obstacles blocking their path to athletic achievement.  That is why I am challenging myself to make a difference in their lives.  Please partner with me by making a donation through my web site link below.  Join me in making dreams come true for challenged athletes.  



I do have my final "training run", 100 miles at Western States, pacing 72 year old Karsten Solheim.  If he makes it, he will be the oldest finisher ever.  Very humble man and started the Ping golf company.  That is June 27, then I think I will rest a little!!


ALL-AMERICAN....AT AGE 60+   ?    Larry Mayse was an NCAA All-American in Cross Country at EIU in the late 1960’s.  Now, a retired Delta Pilot (more than 25 years in the air) he achieved this recognition again....only this time in the Triathlon.  He writes.. “Last September at the National Championship in Portland, OR, I raced well enough to qualify for the US team for the World Championship which will be held this September in Australia. I also raced well enough over the season to make All American in the 60 - 64 age group. This was rewarding as it has been a goal since starting triathlons six years ago.

Larry is also a renowned “glass carver” (has had displays at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC), gardener and grower of exotic flowers and plants from all over the world, and he is a meticulous record keeper.  Check out his recent comments...  “Ever since arriving at EIU in the fall of 1966 I have kept a log of my workouts. That is something you had us start that first week at Eastern. So I am now working on my 34th logbook. A couple of years ago I set out to create a computerized logbook. I worked on it for close to a year. I wanted to be able to access all kinds of information about my workouts. You might say it was one of those labor of love things. I can tell you that in 2008 I swam 314,241 meters (195.3 miles), Biked 2181.2 miles, and ran 642.1 miles in 307 hours, 9 minutes, and 22.1 seconds. I burned 282,314 calories and averaged actual training time of 50 minutes and 21.2 seconds each day.

So if you are a competing triathlete, check out the “Seniors” listed in your next event.  You might have the good fortune to run into Larry...or his wife Linda...who is also an outstanding “Tri” person.

Following a meaningful student and running career at EIU, Joel McKinney (83) went to be a middle school coach/teacher and finally an administrator in the Indianapolis school system.  After 22 years of working at that level, he was asked to be the Principal at Ben Davis High School (the largest HS in the state of Indiana)...a position he has held for the last four years.  On June 11th, he and wife Susi brought their incoming Freshman son...David to campus for a day of orientation.   Dave was a good student and athlete (his 2 mile relay team placed in the State Meet a week ago) and he is eager to become a Panther...like his dad.  Here they pose during a break in the “Debut”...orientation day activities